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Should Churches Be Taxed
I am not a tax accountant or a tax attorney and my thoughts are my own, but this is what I understand.

Income taxes are paid on wages earned for services rendered. While our churches do provide services, no one pays wages to the church.

Income taxes are also paid on income earned through investment appreciation, whether that investment is capital or property. While our churches help our relationship with God grow, we are not earning anything that can be appreciated monetarily.

Also, no one pays taxes on gifts given to others at birthdays or holidays.

Therefore, no taxes should be paid by our churches.

However, any wage paid or service purchased by our church should be taxed.

Backslidden Christian Taken
But a Christian will bear fruit. A person who pretends to be a Christian will not. Read Galatians.
---Samuelbb7 on 5/24/18

Okay Samuel, let me ask you a question.

What you posted seems to contradict with what Jesus says in John 15:2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away...".

To me, this verse indicates that everyone, everywhere are plugged into Jesus. This is confirmed in many places that say that Jesus keeps everything together, that everything lives and moves and has its being in Him.

Other people disagree with this idea and say that only Christians or Believers are plugged into Jesus.

What do you say?

Backslidden Christian Taken
The non-bearing fruit branches were thrown into the bonfire (back before the 1970s)...
---Steveng on 5/23/18


The audience of Jesus did not question where the removed branches went, because they already knew. Tending vines, plants, and trees was part of their everyday life.

We who are so far removed from an agricultural life, ask questions like that.

Actually, Jesus does state this but it must be connected by the readers. Jesus says you cannot bear fruit unless you are abiding in Him. Later Jesus says anyone not abiding in Him is thrown away, dries up, but is later gathered up and thrown into the fire.

Prayer For Reconcilation
I am grieved by how...are treating each other on these blogs..
---Cluny on 5/15/18

I too am saddened by it.

These are family discussions. We here, are children of God. Our Father is grieved by our actions in these blogs.

Our God show us how reconciliation works. We must be grieved enough of the plight of the other person (perhaps caused by our actions) before we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for them. And we must sacrifice first showing our intention for reconciliation.

My prayer is that God shows us the hatred and lack of forgiveness we have in our hearts, and the damage our words can do to other people.

Backslidden Christian Taken
Please give me a scripture reference that shows that God will take a backslidden Christian home if he doesn't respond to chastisement.
---barbara_king on 5/20/18

I think the closest passage would be John 15. Specifically verse two seems to indicate we as branches, abiding in Jesus the vine, if we do not bear fruit, He (the Father) removes the branch. Which could mean (at minimum) two different things. One could be the person being removed is brought home to God. The second could be that the person being removed has their relationship with Jesus removed.

John 15:2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit"

Give Up 2nd Amendment Right
We considered everyone our neighbors, and would defend their property as our own.
---Jerry on 4/12/18

Thank you.

My own story is very similar. I received a 12 gauge shotgun for my 11th birthday and hunted rabbit, squirrel, birds, and deer until my early 20s. I never shot an animal I did not eat, and never brandished a firearm or pointed it in the direction of a human.

We also considered others around us to be our neighbors and friends, regardless of religion or politic. Except for the bully down the block, everyone was treated with respect and courtesy.

God's Spokesperson
This means that these are NOT "rhemas from God", but actually either self-delusion, or messages from some other source.
---StrongAxe on 4/10/18

Some people are delusional.

I always tell people when you hear a voice in your head it can be one of four things: it may be from God, it may be from yourself, it may be from your enemy, and it may be from the world. We need to test these voices to see if they are of God. Everything else not from God should be dismissed. Especially from yourself, it is likely selfish in nature.

But rhemas are for the people who hear them, not to be given to other people. And rhemas are not given with timing, so perhaps this information is for the future or for warning.

The John Darby Rapture
Again another additional blessing in this dispensation called GRACE.
---kathr4453 on 4/10/18

I think everyone is misunderstanding what I am saying.

I am saying there is a new covenant, initiated by Jesus, with new and better promises. Such as Christ in us. Such as grace and mercy. The old covenant is obsolete. As a result, God deals with us differently.

Is this a new dispensation? Perhaps, depending on what you define dispensations to be. It is definitely a change but the errors of dispensationalism (such as the church replacing Israel) prevent me from using the word dispensation.

God's Spokesperson
I constantly cringe whenever I hear this preacher say "God told me this" or "God told me that" or "God told me to tell you this", etc...
---StrongAxe on 4/10/18

I think it is actually much simpler than that.

When Jesus told the devil in the temptation "man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" He was not speaking of Scripture. The Greek word for "word" in that verse is rhema, the spoken word not the written word.

I believe we hear the rhema of God constantly. Whenever anyone says "God said to me" it is a rhema from God. But, I also believe the rhema is for the hearer only, not for others.

The John Darby Rapture
That was not available in the OT
---kathr4453 on 4/10/18

Please tell me how the Jews were saved in the OT? God saved in the OT the same way as the NT, by faith.

You are correct, no one was in Christ before the Incarnation. However, Paul tells us that the Gospel of Jesus was preached to Abraham (Gal 3:8).

As far as the HS being involved in the OT, we need only go to the second verse of Genesis.

Jesus, changed it all. He is the only change of dispensation. Without Him, there is no indwelling.

However, I would amend your last statement to say "forgiveness takes place before repentance or faith".

God's Spokesperson
I understood Steveng's use of spokesperson to mean one who speaks His word through the inspiration He provides...
---Josef on 4/10/18

I took it to mean a spokesperson who speaks for another person, say the POTUS, who knows the intimate thoughts of the person being spoken for.

We do have the mind of Christ but in spiritual matters. We do not know the intimate workings or timing of God.

If sharing God's word is being a spokesperson, then I am one and so are all of the people in these blogs. However, even if we share God's word with others, we cannot and must not speak about God's timing, purposes, or thoughts.

God's Spokesperson
The fact that the church exists and has a leadership hierarchy shows that some kind of leaders and spokesmen are still needed.
---StrongAxe on 4/9/18

A spokesperson for God is needed only in the mind of the world.

The church is not a spokesperson for God, Jesus, or the Trinity. We do not know the mind of God and cannot speak for God.

We can only speak our testimony, our experiences, and what is contained in the Bible. However, speaking about the Bible has brought us many issues, too numerous to list.

The church should strive to make disciples, and leave the speaking in private.

The John Darby Rapture
Since they didn't know Jesus nor the Trinity, it was impossible for them to start their theology with Jesus or the Trinity.
---StrongAxe on 4/9/18

We were talking about dispensations, not about specific groups. As NT believers, we must start our theology with Jesus.

In OT, God seldom dealt with people individually. But, grace, mercy, and kindness were Gods attributes. God wanted a contrite heart and humble spirit which are the attributes of Jesus. However, few wanted a personal relationship with God, only David comes to mind. They wanted a recipe relationship, put in this, take out this, and blam, you have forgiveness.

The John Darby Rapture
They couldn't "start their theology with Jesus and the Trinity", as they didn't know them yet...
---StrongAxe on 4/6/18

Are you saying that the God of the OT is a different God than Jesus?

Perhaps, it was the author's personal perspective.

Abraham after nearly sacrificing Isaac could have said that The Father was a god that required child sacrifice and blood. Yet, the location Abraham came from (Ur) served idols that required child sacrifice. So we can say The Father dealt with Abraham in a way Abraham could understand.

Don't good parents deal with all their children fairly but individually?

God's Spokesperson
What qualifies a person to be God's spokesperson?
---Steveng on 4/7/18

Nothing. God does not need a spokesperson.

God's one and only Son was all the spokesperson they need. Jesus said He did not speak on his own behalf, but on the Father who sent Him (John 12:49).

We are to boast in our God (1 Cor. 1:31) and to overcome by the word of our testimony and the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 12:11).

The John Darby Rapture
Despite the fact that "God never changes", the way he has dealt with man has been vastly different in each age...
---StrongAxe on 4/5/18

Based upon what, our understanding?

What nobody here seems to know or remember, is that the Bible is a library, with many books, written by many authors, having many purposes, spanning thousands of years. And none of these authors "know" God according to Jesus (Matt. 11:27).

That is why it is essential to start our theology with Jesus and the Trinity and work out, not work from Genesis to Jesus. Jesus, The Father, and the HS, have been in relationship since before time. Understanding their relationship, changes how we see God's relationship with us.

The John Darby Rapture
Dispensationalism is a false teaching...
---Samuelbb7 on 4/5/18

While I too believe that Dispensationalism is false teaching, I do not think we agree on why.

I believe the Father, Son, and Spirit had one plan from the beginning, to include us in their Trinitarian life, and Jesus was the way.

Everything in the entire COSMOS revolves around that plan. The creation, the fall, the family of Abraham, the nation of Israel, the time in history, the country in the earth, and the events of birth, life, death, and ascension of Jesus.

The error of Dispensationalism is that it takes the focus off of Jesus and puts it on us. No doctrine should ever do that.

Forgive Their Sins
I don't live in Matthew. I believe it's teachings are for the 1000 year reign, where one must pluck out an eye or cut off a hand to enter in...
---kathr4453 on 4/4/18

I cannot believe you said this.

Are you saying the words of Jesus are not for today or yesterday?

It seems to me that you are dividing the Bible as others have done, in a way that suits yourself. Looking at the book of Matthew as being destined for someone else, allows you to not pay attention to what it says. It allows you to pick and choose what you will or will not believe.

Are you sure you want to do this? How do you defend your statement?

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